China to help Afghanistan rebuild infrastructure
KABUL (Pajhwok): Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and China have agreed to strengthen economic, security and political cooperation during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) meeting in China, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) office said on Wednesday.
CEO Abdullah Abdulalh on Tuesday held meetings with prime ministers of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and China and discussed with them various issues of mutual interests, a statement from the CEO’s office said on Wednesday.
Abdullah and Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim Massimov discussed cooperation between the two countries in areas of education, culture, economic development, transit trade and transport, the statement said.
The CEO invited Massimo to visit Afghanistan and the Kazakh prime minister welcomed his invitation and pledged strong cooperation against terrorist groups especially Daesh or Islamic State (IS).
During his meeting with Tajik Prime Minister Qahir Rasulzada, Abdullah said the two countries enjoyed historic friendly relations. The two leaders agreed to expand relations between the two countries and stressed the need for commencing work by the inter-government commission. Abdullah said Kabul was ready to host the commission in few months.
Rasulzada said his country wished lasting peace in Afghanistan and would provide more electricity to Afghanistan in the years to come and would also help boost Afghanistan education sector.
The CEO also met Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, with Abdullah asking him to use China’s influence in making regional countries to honestly cooperate with Afghanistan in improving security.
He also asked China to encourage it entrepreneurs and companies to invest in Afghanistan, the statement said.
Li Keqiang said his country wished a stable, independent and self-sufficient Afghanistan and was ready to provide assistance anytime and extend cooperation to Afghanistan. They also supported peace in Afghanistan because a stable and peaceful Afghanistan was in the interest of China.
Li Keqiang said his country wanted to help Afghanistan rebuild its infratructur in spheres of water, energy and link routes and. He said China would also grant 500 scholarships for Afghan students over the next five years.
Before the launch of the 14th Heads of Government Council meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Abdullah held bilateral meetings with Indian, Chinese and Russian leaders and stressed the need for exploiting regional economic opportunities and developing a joint strategy to deal with security threats.
The CEO held a meeting with India State Minister for Foreign Affairs Vijay Kumar Singh on Monday before.
Abdullah told the Indian minister that the emergence of Islamic State (IS) was another threat the region faced and there was a need for a common strategy to fight militants groups.
Despite the existence of security challenges, the region offered enormous economic opportunities, the CEO said, adding that the construction of the Chabahar port and Zaranj-Dilaram Road would help accelerate economic activities in the region.
Prime ministers from the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and Pakistan attended the summit, while Chinese Premier Li Keqiang chaired the meeting.
The prime minister of Belarus, the vice premier of Mongolia, the minister of state for foreign affairs of India and the minister from Iran attended the SCO meeting as representatives of SCO observers countries.
The SCO is a security bloc led by China and Russia. The bloc was originally formed to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighbouring Afghanistan.
The SCO groups China, Russia, Pakistan, India and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, while Iran, Afghanistan and Mongolia are observers.
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